Even the most casual of prep sports fans around the area will immediately associate Morton High School with its now-traditionally successful football team.
Connor Davidson is trying to add his sport into the mix: boys swimming. The Governors have already begun to make a name for themselves in that scene, as Davidson placed fourth in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free at last season's Munster Sectional. Teammate Ben Daniels finished sixth in both the 200 free and 500 free at the same meet.
However, one glaring piece of history stands out for Davidson. The Governors have not had a state qualifier since 1983, when coach Brian Rycerz' former teammate Chris Kansfield placed fourth in both the 50 and 100 free.
Davidson hopes to end that streak Saturday in the sectional finals. His best shot is in the 50 free, where he is seeded second at 22.18 seconds, behind Lake Central's Connor Homans.
"It feels really good," Davidson said of bringing Morton's program back. "Thirty-one years without getting to state or anything big; it's a really good feeling bringing something back to Morton."
Davidson, who has a season-best of 22.1 seconds, isn't just trying to hit the state cut time, he's aiming to win the 50 free. And why not? Davidson has yet to lose in the event this season and is going into the sectional feeling quite confident.
"He doesn't think he's going to lose at all," Rycerz said. "He's on cloud nine, and he knows what he has to do. All you've got to do is due what you normally do. Get in the pool and swim fast. I've never had a guy who is basically right there. He's pretty close to the standard and is swimming at the fastest pool in the state at Munster. That's going to give him confidence right there."
Davidson hasn't always had the type of confidence he now exudes. As a freshman, Davidson was basically new to competitive swimming. A short program in middle school at least gave him the ability to learn all four strokes.
"When he was a freshman, he didn't believe in himself at all," Rycerz said. "Now, he knows he's fast and he's got the confidence and knows where he needs to be."
Davidson, who will head to IUPUI for college, major in political science and possibly swim there, is ready to make his impact at Thursday's Munster Sectional preliminaries and Saturday's finals.
"I feel like I can easily drop (half a second) from the 50 just being in that pool," he said. "It's going to be a good swim."